Ulum al Qur'an
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Similes in the Qur'an
The Qur'an also employs similes (amthal, sg. mathal) in many places to explain certain truths or to drive home important points of the message, by likening it to something well known or describing it in a pictorial manner. [See, e.g. 16: 75-6.]
'He sends down water from the skies and the channels flow, each according to its measure; but the torrents bear away the foam that mounts up to the surface. Even so, from that (ore) which they heat in the fire to make ornaments or utensils therewith there is scum likewise, thus doth God (by parable) show forth the truth and vanity, for thc scum disappears like froth cast out; while that which is for the good of mankind remains on the earth. Thus doth God set forth parables' (Al-Qur'an 13: 17).